Because of its complex physiology and its potent biologic influences, the adrenal gland has provided a most challenging and at the same time, fascinating frontier of investigation. From the laboratory and the clinical research wards has finally come clarification, at least in part, for some of the varied and often baffling metabolic pictures that can develop when function of this important organ becomes altered. One of the most important contributions in recent times (1953) has been the identification of the 18-aldehyde of corticosterone as the highly active, sodium-retaining corticoid in extracts of adrenal cortex.31 The isolation, and finally the synthesis, of this important steroid has opened the way for new explorations and better understanding of basic problems in electrolyte metabolism to be found in such seemingly unrelated conditions as familial periodic paralysis, toxemia of pregnancy, congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver with ascites, emotional stress, nephrosis, and hypertension.
ROGERS FA. Primary AldosteronismDiagnosis, Surgical Management, and Report of Two Cases Operated Upon. Arch Surg. 1961;82(5):683-695. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300110045008